Dear Reader

I urge you to follow the advice that follows. I know it may seem strange, or out of place, I know you may not believe it, but I still urge you to heed my warning. The former Farmers & Merchants National Bank is haunted by a phantasm. The building, split into two halves, horizontally, by the shadow of the cornice projecting from above, it appears nearly illegible as it fades into the heavy blue shade. One might wonder if the building truly exists, or if its blurred appearance is its possessor making their debut. Lying across the eastern facade at a pristine angle, the shadow creates a darkness only previously known to the dirt filled crevasses between the finely cut blocks of stone. The grey blocks, sanded and smooth, tile to create the most eastern of the four vertical walls that enclose the bank. The ghost’s tomb.

Readers I must again warn you, please do not cross into this enclosure. It seems that the evil within is leaking out, though appearing flat to the touch, flat to sight, stale to every sense I can imagine, the smooth grey wall remains studded by dark vertical streaks cast on it by the protruding stone. Yet who, dear Reader, exists within these hallowed walls? Who caused the grimy tears to rhythmically fall thin, thin, thick, thick, thin, thick, thick, thin!? The thickest streaks, the thickest tears, the thickest impossibly dimensioned shadows fall to the north of each stone disengaged from the wall! Escaping…I fear the smooth, and solid columns, the thick bars to the phantasm’s prison, will not hold much longer. Without joints the column rests upon a modest curved base atop a waist high pier of a similar grey stone. Though darker in hue than that of the grey wall and columns, the piers, perhaps, are indeed the same, simply tainted by the grime of decades, and blackened by the soul within.

Whatever brought such a beast into the likes of this place, you may wonder? If so you are not alone, as I too have thought the same. I studied this at great length, and pondered for even more. Perhaps the place was of some importance to the creature? A distant memory? An unclaimed future? Perhaps it simply reminded them of home, of what betrayed them long ago. After much more pondering, much postulating, I believe I have surmised the phantasm’s origin. The familiar form, the columns, the piers stacked four layers up, tapering with each step, the capitals elaborately decorated with acanthus leaves, the cornice resting atop the columns. The origin of the beast, dear Reader, is simple. The ghost is Grecian. The second clue is the previous life our peculiar place possessed. A bank. It seems that the phantasm within is mimicking the motherland, mocking us, and dragging us down with it. Our economic institutes are not safe from such a beast, lest it finds them.

The heavy blue shadow, falling across the facade, fades slowly from near the topmost corner down across the arching doorway and grey stone. Peculiar, the shadow. Distinctly blue, dancing across the grey, nay the white, tainted by evil, walls. Strange those colors, no? Have you seen a Grecian flag? Have you noted its colors? The evidence piles up! Brushing the columns with a fleeting amorphous deformation as it drops off the north edge, the shadow, the claws of the beast, drift down the street.

Reader I urge you heed my advice. Remove our financial institutions from these pithy models of ancient style, for they are beacons to economic plague! Line the doors and windows with salt, burn candles, draw symbols, call upon whatever supernatural belief you know, and halt the beasts from progressing any further! Band together, Readers, fight the ethereal invasion, and beware any nightmarish horses given as gifts. No doubt they will be up to their old tricks again…

The Editors

(Kellan Cartledge and Colin Jacobs)
An Open Letter Concerning the
Peculiar Place at 4th and Main

Kellan Cartledge &
Colin Jacobs

April 2016